League Preview: Shelbourne -v- Dundalk

Damien Duff & team applaud the Shelbourne supporters after their game against Drogheda United last November

Damien Duff & team applaud the Shelbourne supporters after their game against Drogheda United last November Credit: Paul Dolan (ETPhotos)


Shelbourne boss Damien Duff is relishing his side’s return to league action on Friday night after the international break (kick-off is at 7.45pm). 

The Reds host Dundalk at Tolka Park and their boss stressed the need for his men to stay focused on their jobs at hand as they look to maintain their five-point lead at the summit. 

“It is brilliant to be back in action this weekend,” Duff said. “The last two weeks have highlighted that the leading light of Irish football is not the National team but the League itself. It is bigger, better, more exciting and more important. 

“Every true Irish football fan has been waiting for this Friday, nothing else.

“Results can be a bit misleading and Dundalk have come out on the wrong side of tight games, but played well, it’s a fine line in football.

“We’ve come out on the right side of tight games. There’s not much in it and it’s as tough a game as we can play in this league, as we’ve faced them before we know how good they are. 

“Forget the table, I’m not looking at where we are or where they are because it won’t make much difference tomorrow night.”


Dundalk boss Stephen O’Donnell has called on his players to rise to the occasion in Drumcondra on Friday night. 

The Lilywhites are without a league win this season and recently bowed out of the Leinster Senior Cup against St Mochta’s.

But O’Donnell is keen to stress the positives, for now at least.

“It’s a big game,” he stressed. “Shelbourne have started the season really well and they are top of the league on merit. 

“They play to a certain structure, they’re well organised and they’re well coached but we’ve had a good record against them over the last couple of years. 

“We’re not happy with our league position and we’re not happy with our results thus far. 

“The league table speaks for itself, but I do have a big belief in the group of players we have and I think the last couple of league performances have been a lot better and we need to build on that. 

“A win’s not going to fall into your lap in this league. You need to earn your win and play with aggression and decisiveness on both sides of the ball and we’re fully aware of that. We know what the job entails.”

Referee: Damien MacGraith.



Shelbourne 3-0 Dundalk 



Injured: Shane Griffin. 





Injured: Jamie Walker, Andy Boyle, Dara Keane. 

Doubtful:Jamie Gullan.